Keeping the Night Watch

Tuesday, August 7, 2018


Do you ever have trouble sleeping at night? Or do you wake too early and fight to go back to sleep? 

The disciples in today’s Gospel understand your plight. They had worked hard all day and were exhausted. Nestled in various of the boat’s nooks, each one settled to his own slumber. At first, the Sea of Galilee was gently rolling, almost like a lullaby of waves.
But …

Set in the hills of northern Israel, the Sea of Galilee is nearly 700 feet below sea level. … The sea’s location makes it subject to sudden and violent storms as the wind comes over the eastern mountains and drops suddenly onto the sea.” (Ray Vander Laan)

storm at sea

The Storm on the Sea of Galilee~ Rembrandt 

We’re not unlike these men. The storms of life come suddenly to disturb our sleep too. Sorrows, worries, frustrations, deadlines, aches and pains — all kinds of winds howl into our sleep during “the fourth watch of the night.”

What if, rather than resisting these little twisters, we looked deeply into them for the face of God. As we struggle with whatever it is disturbing us, God is always approaching us with a message of hope, courage and spiritual growth. Often, it is our resistance to that message which creates the storm.

That night, on the Sea of Galilee, the disciples sensed the rising winds of resentment against Jesus. The knew in their depths that the storm clouds were gathering in the dark hearts of Christ’s enemies. But they probably resisted their growing fears. 

Most of them had not witnessed the Transfiguration. But they too, like Peter, James and John, needed some bolstering! Walking across the water, Jesus brings each of them a blessed assurance that He has the storms in hand.

In our own night watches, God is waiting to calm and assure us. Let us be still in the darkness and trust God.


Music:  Holy Darkness sung by John Michael Talbot

2 thoughts on “Keeping the Night Watch

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